Wednesday, November 30, 2011

60 Minutes "Flavorists"

The other night we were watching 60 minutes and they had a segment about the people who create the flavors for our foods. Basically it's all synthetic and made so that we as consumers want more and more. They create it in such a way that it becomes addicting. This is just another reason to NOT purchase and consume processed foods. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Make It Happen!

If you REALLY want it, then you WILL do whatever you need to do to MAKE IT HAPPEN! I know it can be hard to stay motivated and hopefully this blog along with other things will help you stay motivated to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. What things are the most MOTIVATING to YOU?

Last week I posted a Jump Start Challenge for my friends and you are more than welcome to follow along. This week the diet part will be about the same, minus the dairy. I'm also taking out the protein powder in my oatmeal in the mornings and replacing it with a little handful of chopped nuts. The diet plan will still be about 5-6 SMALL meals a day spacing them out about 3-4 hours. Drink lots of water. If exercising is too much to do EVERYDAY for beginners then just do every other day until you feel more comfortable.

I did HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) this morning for 12 minutes. I'm use to the HIIT by now so I just make up my own depending on what I feel needs worked.

Mine went like this…

50 seconds high knees
10 seconds rest
50 seconds squat thrust with 10 lb weights in each hand (I hold them on top of my shoulders by my ears with my arms bent)
10 second rest
50 seconds push-ups (I got super tired so when I slowed down I was still holding my plank position. Sometimes I go down to girl push-ups when I get tired but I'm trying to only do boy push-ups)
10 seconds rest
50 seconds mountain climber twist (get in regular mountain climber position but when you bring your knees up, bring knee up to opposite shoulder so you're working more of your obliques)
10 seconds rest
I repeated this 2 more times.

Make it a great day! :)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Iceberg Lettuce

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed the company of family and friends. Yesterday was a great day to enjoy fun traditions that mostly revolve around high fat, high calorie food and it's fine to enjoy for a day but let's get back on track and start eating better so we can all FEEL BETTER and have more ENERGY!

I love a good salad. I usually buy mixed organic greens from Costco but once in a while I'll buy just the good old Iceberg lettuce. I always feel like I'm not getting ANY nutrients by eating Iceberg lettuce, when in fact I am. Not as much as if I were to eat leafier greener greens but still I'm getting something:) No matter what kind of veggies you prefer, they are all good in some regard, so eat up!

Most people in general prefer Iceberg lettuce over Romain, Red Tip, Green Leaf, etc… And although Iceberg doesn't have the amount of nutrients as other leafy greens, it's still a great source of vitamin A, K, C, thiamin, B6 and folate. Iceberg lettuce is an excellent source of potassium and manganese and a very good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It also contains traces of sodium, copper and zinc. Iceberg has a very high water content and is very low in calories. Therefore, is good to use if you are trying to loose weight. The main health benefit comes from the folate in Iceberg lettuce which helps fight heart diseases and stoke.

Make it a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I'm sure everyone is getting excited for their Thanksgiving Feast! Thanksgiving food is actually not all bad for you if you don't add a ton of fat, sugar, salt and consume in moderation. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Health benefits of Thanksgiving food:

White turkey meat is loaded with B vitamins, is low in fat and high in protein.

Cranberries are full of vitamins A and C, low in calories and high in fiber.

Sweet potatoes have lots of vitamins A and C and are also high in fiber.

Pumpkin is fat-free, high in fiber, lower in calories when it comes to pie and loaded with vitamins A and C.

Carrots are a great source of vitamins A and C and have great fiber.

Broccoli is also high is vitamin A and C, low calories and it's a Super Veggie!

Green beans provide vitamins C and K and are high in fiber.

Green peas are high in vitamin K and fiber.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 1 of our Jump Start Challenge

This past week, I had a couple friends wanting my help with getting motivated to jump start their diets and exercise routines. I put together a little schedule for them and told them I would be following it too! If you would like to follow along as well, you're more than welcome. If you need additional help with modifying any part of the routine or eating plan leave a comment, as the comments filter through into my email, I can then reply through the comments or if you prefer into your email if you leave the address:)

*The basic eating plan is to consume food every 2-3 hours, 4 hours at most.
*Make sure your meals and snacks consist of protein, good fat, and complex carbs.
*Eat within the first hour of waking.
*drink a glass of water with every meal, preferably before the meal.
*On this plan we are exercising EVERYDAY in order to JUMP START our bodies and minds into creating new and healthy habits.
*Most importantly make sure you are getting at least 6 hours of sleep at night. Sleep can make you or break you! Make it a priority for yourself:)
*You should also make sure you're taking a good multi vitamin and I always take fish oil and vitamin D3 as well.

Exercise for this week - Exercise EVERYDAY!!! Even if it's just for 4 minutes of high intensity interval training(look it up on my blog) and switch off doing those two workouts I have on the blog.  You have to make sure you do at least 3-4 days of at least 12 minutes of interval training.  If you ever have more time you can always do more.  Make sure you PUSH, PUSH, PUSH yourself during the 20 second intervals.  Act as if every time is your last and really GIVE IT ALL YOU"VE GOT!!!

I know this week is Thanksgiving and don't worry about that day at all...  Eat when you feel hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.  Not FULL just satisfied.  Really focus on your WILL POWER!!!  I know you can do this!!! Here's the eating schedule for this week ;)  Love you all!
If you're a guy then maybe double the amount of everything:)

Drink 1 full glass of water
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with protein powder and berries

8 oz water
1/2 cup cottage cheese with fruit of your choice or 2 TBSP hummus with veggies and small fruit of your choice

8 oz water
Big salad with lean protein (chicken, fish, beans) any veggies you want to put in it and some kind of vinaigrette dressing

8 oz water
Protein shake. Recipe below.

8 oz water
1 Cup of veggies (green beans , cucumbers, carrots, spinach, salad with veggies, any kind of veggie) and a lean protein (chicken, fish, beef sirloin(broiled or grilled))

8 oz water
Make another protein shake but make this protein shake with just water and protein powder or you could cook eggs(2-3) you can put veggies in your eggs too and you can have a small amount of fruit.

Protein Shake
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 banana
1 TBSP of either freshly ground flax seed or chia seed
1-2 cups of either spinach or kale
about 1/2 cup ice
about 1/2 water or almond milk

Friday, November 18, 2011


Walnuts are a great source of energy and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.

Walnuts have important omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol levels. They are a great source of antioxidants, which help with preventing cancer, reducing the effects of aging, inflammation and neurological diseases. Walnuts are also a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radicals. They are also loaded with B vitamins, and minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

You only need to consume about 7 walnuts a day to receive all the benefits these amazing nuts have to offer. I like to put mine into my oatmeal in the mornings, on salads or in my protein bars. ;) Below is my recipe for a great breakfast that includes walnuts. Enljoy!

Protein, Walnut Oatmeal

1/2 - 1 cup cooked steel cut oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
handful of walnuts
little handful of dried cranberries
about 1/4 cup almond milk

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Waffles

Monday on the Good Morning Utah show I met Janea Devika, who owns a health and wellness company. She was on the show sharing her Pumpkin Waffle recipe and we were lucky enough to enjoy one of her deliciously nutritious waffles. Here is the recipe for you:) You would never know they were healthy! Enjoy!

Whole Pumpkin Waffles

¼ cup sucanat or honey
3 tbsp. cornstarch
or arrowroot powder
1 ¼ cup spelt flour or whole wheat flour
1 ¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. powdered ginger
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 large organic, free range eggs
1 cup coconut milk, almond milk or rice milk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin

4 tbsp. extra virgin organic coconut oil, melted
1.) Lightly oil the waffle iron with coconut oil and set it to the desired temperature.
2.) Combine dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
3.) Separate eggs; yolks go in a medium-sized bowl and whites should be set aside in a smaller bowl.
4.) Add pumpkin, honey (if using), and milk to the egg yolks. Whisk to blend and set aside.
5.) Whip egg whites with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form - about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, set aside.
6.) Pour melted coconut oil into the yolk/milk/pumpkin mixture. As you pour, whisk to combine.
7.) Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and mix them together until combined. A little lumpiness is fine. That will smooth out when the egg whites are added.
8.) Slide the whipped egg whites out of the bowl and onto the mixture you just prepared. Gently fold them in until no white bits are obvious.
9.) Once the waffle iron is heated, you're ready to pour the batter. Cook until golden brown. Waffles are usually done when the steam stops pouring out of the waffle maker.
10.) Top with raw chocolate sauce and vegan whipped cream.

Raw Chocolate Syrup

¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
½ cup maple syrup (or more to taste)
½ cup raw cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
A pinch of salt
Stir well until smooth. Keep warm to pour like syrup or refrigerate to spread like peanut frosting.

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream

1 can coconut milk
¼ cup ultra gel (also called waxy maize or modified food starch, a corn starch thickener found in with the jam supplies or at the health food store)
1 tbs. vanilla, or almond extract
¼ cup agave OR 1/8 tsp. stevia (to taste)
Add all the ingredients together in a bowl and whip with a hand mixer until smooth. The ultra gel should set up the coconut milk within 5-10 minutes so it is the consistency of whipped cream. It may be necessary to use additional ultra gel to make the whipped cream thick enough.

Monday, November 14, 2011

12 Minute Workout

This morning I was helping my friend on television with her segment about high intensity interval training. Check out the workout in the link below (12 min workout), try it and let me know what you think:)

12 Minute Workout

4 minute workouts are the new craze and they're working! You've got to try this type of workout for at least one month and then decide if you can see a difference. You may not feel like you're really going to see results because it's not your normal hour at the gym or 30-40 minutes of cardio but if you're really pushing at your max and doing these 4-6 times a week, combined with eating good healthy foods, you will definitely see results! We are all busy and have to really make an effort to create time to workout. You can always make time for 4 minutes! Remember to ALWAYS push yourself to your MAX!

Make it a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Exercise Myths

I came across this list of exercise myths and facts and thought it was worth posting. I hope you all are staying motivated and not letting the holiday foods get to you. Stay strong and remember that you are in control of your body and that everything you put into your mouth is a choice made by you, so make it a good choice. Stop and really thing about what you're about to eat before you even pick it up. Really try to figure out if you are truly hungry. When you do eat, try to really taste the food. Most of the time people are just thirsty but mistake it for hunger. Drink a glass of water then wait ten minutes and decide if you are still truly hungry.

Make it a great weekend:)

Top Ten Exercise Myths

Myth # 1 - Your Cardio machine is counting the calories you're burning.
Fact - Caloric Burning depends on one's age, fitness level, BMI and sex. Different sexes at different fitness levels and BMIs burn calories at different rates.

Myth # 2 - Heart rate monitors will let you know how hard you're working.
Fact - Monitors can falter depending on what kind of exercise you're doing. Your own body is better at telling you how hard you're working. You can measure how intensely you're working out depending on whether you can talk in full sentences, short phrases, or are barely able to muster a few words.

Myth # 3 - Your weight is the end all, be all.
Fact - Your weight has little to do with your fitness level. Muscle weighs more than fat, so it's common to see an increase in weight when perfuming lifting regiments after a few weeks. Measure by seeing how your clothes fit and how you feel overall.

Myth # 5 - Low intensity exercise burns more fat.
Fact - The more intensely you exercise, the higher proportion of carbs you burn. You may burn less fat, but you burn more calories. Your body digs into the fat after it has burned all the carbs.

Myth # 6 - You can spot reduce for tight abs or toned arms.
Fact - The more repetitions you do just creates muscle memory, reducing the effectiveness of the workout and causing your body not to burn as much fat. Working out all body parts will reduce muscle memory and increase calorie burn, which will translate into fat burn.

Myth # 7 - You can eat whatever you want as long as you workout.
Fact - Losing pounds and burning fat happens when you have a caloric deficit. However, intense caloric deficit works the opposite. Muscles need to feed, so your food intake should consist of a balance of fats, proteins and carbs.

Myth # 8 - Cardio is the only way to lose weight.
Fact - Cardio is good for the heart and increases endurance, but is not the best way to burn fat. Since muscles have higher energy stores in them, the body will actually begin to feed off those after extended card regimens, rather than fat. 10-25 minutes of card is the best range in which your heart and endurance get what they need, while still not running into the zone of your body feeding off it's muscle.

Myth # 9 - You have to do card in the morning on an empty stomach in order to burn fat.
Fact - Our body's metabolism is at it's lowest in the morning because you haven't eaten for 8 hours. Eat a balanced breakfast and you will be able to exercise longer and your body's metabolism will already be working.

Myth # 10 - Drinking ice cold water burns fat.
Fact - There are no proven facts that the cold water will shock your system and force it to keep it warm, causing your metabolism to increase and burn fat. However, drinking room temperature water will have the exact same effects.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brown Rice

Why choose brown rice over white rice? Basically brown rice has a much higher nutritional value than white rice and has a lower glycemic index. White rice has been milled and stripped of valuable nutrients. Unlike most other countries, the states enrich white rice with two B vitamins - thiamin and niacin and also iron. But why would you choose something that has to be enriched over something that already contains tons of valuable nutrients in it's natural state? Go for the brown rice!

In general, rice is a good source of B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. The protein in rice is a higher quality protein because of the high levels of the amino acid lysine. Brown rice is much higher in fiber, folacin, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and trace minerals than other types of rice. Brown rice also is the only form of the grain that contains vitamin E.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Protein Oat Bars

My little sister gave me a recipe for some oat bars a while ago and I finally got around to making them. I modified the recipe to be more of a protein bar. They were a hit before our half marathon we ran over halloween. Try them and let me know what you think.

2 cup regular rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raisins
1/2 cup dried fruit mix (chop if the dried fruit is bigger pieces)
1 cup shredded unsweetened dry coconut
1 cup almonds (chopped)
1 cup walnuts (chopped)
2 Tbsp butter
4 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp clove
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 - 1/2 package of semisweet chocolate chips

Spread oats in cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees in oven until oats are toasted (about 25 minutes) *stir frequently to prevent scorching
Mix together, raisins, coconut, almonds, walnuts, spices and protein powder.
Mix hot oats and dried fruit mixture.
Butter hot pan and set aside ( you can use a Silpat if you don't want to use butter)
In frying pan, combine the honey and sugar. Bring to rolling boil over med/high heat and quickly stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract. At once, purr over the oatmeal mixture and mix well. Quickly spread in the buttered pan and press into an even layer.
Let chill until firm, at least 4 hours or until the next day.
Cut into bars about 1 1/4 by 2 1/2 inches.
Melt chocolate chips. ( I used a mini melting pot) Drizzle over bars to liking. Let cool.
You can individually wrap bars in foil.
Store in refrigerator for up to 4 weeks: freeze to store longer.

*These make a great pre-race, mid-race or recovery snack.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Diets, diets, diets… Low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat, etc… Why are there so many diets out there and none of them seem to work? I've never tried to follow a specific "diet", I've always just modified and payed more attention to what I do consume. I think the thing that has worked best for me is to eat whole foods and in moderation. When I'm eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and proteins, I don't get that craving for sugars or carbs. I eat when I'm hungry, stop when I'm satisfied, and if I do feel like sweets then I'll usually choose a treat that is made with the fewest ingredients.

Our bodies NEED food for energy. A variety of vitamin and nutrient rich foods are the best source of energy! You need to listen to your body and respond to it's natural hunger. It will tell you what it needs if you're eating whole nutrient dense foods.

If you're one to give in, then don't buy it and bring it into your home in the first place. Make it easy on yourself by only buying whole foods. One thing you can try if you really think you're hungry and can't stop eating is to drink a whole glass of water before you begin to eat and before you consume a snack.

Make sure you are truly hungry and not just bored, stressed or something else that involves using food to mask the emotion. Make sure to listen to your body and know when you've had enough. You want to feel content. Not full and not starving but satisfied.

Make it a great day! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


While doing some research on bread, I came across this post and decided it was worth sharing today. There are a lot of mixed reviews weather or not bread should be a part of your diet. Hopefully this helps point you in the right direction.

If you have a great bread recipe and would like to share, I would love it! Also, if you have a gluten free bread recipe that actually tastes good, I would love to try it as well! When you leave your recipe in the comments, please specify if you do or do not want me to post your recipe. Thanks :)

1. Bag bread is one of the worst things you can put in your (or your children's) digestive system. It's been made fast and with refined flour - read below for clarification...

2. Genuine sourdough bread is the best "normal" bread option. It takes longer to make (see more below) and has fewer additives to worry about. Usually made with flour, water and salt. Less is more.

3. Sprouted bread, although I don't eat it, is theorticaly the best. The grain used to make the bread is sprouted, making it more digestible and less likely to form glue in your intestine, which brings me to...

4. Bread made with refined white flour has had the fibre stripped out of it. Modern wheat has also been carefully bred to be high in gluten forming protein. To cut a long story short, gluten has been implicated in damaging the wall of your intestine, causing malabsorption. It also gets stuck and forms blockages in your intestine.

5. Bread that has been fermented (proven, risen, let rest) for a long time (i.e. sourdough) is easier to digest, as fermentation essentially pre-digests the bread for you. Back to point 1, bag bread is made so fast that there's almost no pre-digestion.

6. Wheat has been bred to give us strong, glutinous bread, but our bodies haven't adapted so fast. Spelt and Kamut are ancient grains that are more naturally suited to our digestive system. Rye is naturally low in gluten.

7. Perhaps most interestingly, the enzymes that digest starch (flour) are mostly found in your saliva. So chew your food! Once is reaches your stomach, the enzymes don't work so well.

8. Adding to point 7, protein inhibits the starch-digesting enzymes. Protein thrives in an acidic environment. Guess what's in your stomach? And guess what nuts are high in? So next time you eat a peanut butter sandwich, consider that digestion of the bread pretty much stops at your mouth.

9. And finally... whole wheat bag bread is not automatically better for you, as it has missed out on fermentation. The "whole" part of whole wheat is the bran and germ, which are two components of the grain which are filtered out to make white flour. The bran is the husk of the grain. It protects the grain from sprouting and releasing its nutrients until the right conditions prevail. The right conditions are moisture for about 48hrs, which you'll see if you've ever made alfalfa sprouts or even planted a seed in your garden. Most breads skip this waiting time so you're a) missing out on the nutrients that the grain has to offer and b) eating indigestible pieces of starch. A long fermentation (sourdough, sprouted bread) lets you access nutrients and digestion.

If you know a good sourdough bakery near you, ask how long they ferment or prove their dough for. If it takes less than a day to make a loaf, find another bakery.

So, in summary:

Chew your bread
Choose genuine, slow fermented sourdough
or make your own!